the imaginative conservative logo

Russell Kirk

Russell Kirk
Russell Kirk (1918-1994) was the author of some thirty-two books, hundreds of periodical essays, and many short stories. Both Time and Newsweek have described him as one of America’s leading thinkers, and The New York Times acknowledged the scale of his influence when in 1998 it wrote that Dr. Kirk’s 1953 book The Conservative Mind “gave American conservatives an identity and a genealogy and catalyzed the postwar movement.” Dr. Kirk's other books include The Roots of American Order, Prospects for Conservatives, Edmund Burke: A Genius Reconsidered, The Sword of Imagination, and Enemies of the Permanent Things.
0 465

The adversaries of Modernity were raising their voices some forty years ago in Switzerland, France, Australia, and other countries; the journal Modern Age was intended to become, in considerable part, an American protest against the illusions of Modernity; and so it has remained...
2 669

There still are men and women enough among us who know what makes life worth living—enough of them to keep out the modern barbarian, if they are resolute. If they are not resolute, and if they cannot make common cause, the garment of our civilization will go...
2 896

Increasingly, the university becomes the servant of the public desires of the hour, and correspondingly neglects its old duty of waking the moral imagination and disciplining the liberal intellect... The American University: How It Runs, Where It Is Going by Jacques Barzun (356 pages,...
0 760

There now exists a general dissatisfaction with the present sunk condition of higher learning; complacency having trickled away, reform is conceivable... For a quarter of a century, the higher education in America has been sinking lower. Agreement...
1 1177

A conservative is not, by definition, a selfish or a stupid person; instead, he is a person who believes there is something in our life worth saving... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Russell Kirk as he explores...
0 625

To many American Protestants, Reinhold Niebuhr restored an understanding of the truth of the dogma of Original Sin, as expressed in the myth of Adam’s fall. Yet in the defense of other Christian dogmata, was he indeed so strong-hearted and strong-minded as he generally is taken...
0 793

The sorriest aspect of the twentieth century has been the rallying of the intellectuals to the arrogant banner of nationalism, which rejects universal and eternal truth for the sake of national and passing advantage... Thirty years ago,...

As the rising generation is left ignorant of our civilization’s dogmas—or is encouraged to discard them—strange new dogmas rush in to fill the spiritual vacuum... All societies, in all times, have lived by dogmas. When...
0 972

Do we descend steadily, and now somewhat speedily, toward a colossal architecture of unparalleled dreariness, and a colossal state of unparalleled uniformity? Will all of us labor under a profound depression of spirits because of the boring and servile architecture about us? And will the society now...
0 636

It is possible to bankrupt a nation’s treasury by extravagant expenditure upon alleged “education.” Worse still, it is possible to bankrupt a nation’s culture in the name of schooling... School Needs in the Decade Ahead by Roger A. Freeman (Institute for Social Science,...
0 669

For years after his honorable discharge in 1946, Russell Kirk suffered a recurrent nightmare, to the effect that his discharge had been a clerical error; that he was summoned back to Dugway Valley; and there, beside his grim safe, stuffed with deadly secret documents, he would labor...
0 886

The Framers had no intention of making their chief executive officer a Caesar, on the model of Augustus. Nor does any eminent politician or publicist nowadays advocate openly such concentration of power in the executive... May a...

Is it not refined cruelty to keep alive, in self-loathing, a man who is a grave danger to the innocent and a grisly horror to himself? And to do such a thing in countries long admired for the justice of their laws?...
0 808

It is not by the love of money or the love of earthly power that men and women are moved to publish a serious journal of ideas. Rather, they are animated by their love of right reason...